John and Terri both rolled over, both pulled the blanket up to their chin and both pretended to be asleep as the hungry cries rose from the cot next to them. It had become something of a ritual to see who could last the longest since the birth of the first baby some three months earlier. Gone were the promises of doing every 4 am feed, replaced by a sordid unspoken game of, you go and feed the little bastard because I am still asleep. It is easily done of course. A lack of restful shut eye, a fear of being spewed upon or having to change a stinking nappy while the frosty morning chews at your ankles will quickly make the nicest of early intentions seem so far away. And tonight as the temperature dropped to around 2 degrees the competition looked like being a tough one as a steely determination gripped them both and neither flinched at the first signs of a whimper.
As the cries grew louder it was John who made the first move rolling over to face the opposite way. He knew it was an early shot out of the blocks, but it was one that seemed to have worked as he could soon feel Terri twitching and wriggling beside him and it looked as though it would be a very early submission from his wife of two years. He smiled and snuggled his head triumphantly in to his pillow. But the victory was short lived as a wild, exaggerated flip from Terri sent her right foot smashing in to his leg forcing John to bite his lip in an a attempt to stifle a pain filled scream.
Terri was trying her hardest not to giggle at her husband’s misery and as she felt him throw back the blanket she thought that her less than subtle hint had made its point. But as John began to move once again she also noticed that the blanket was slowly sliding away with him. At first her toes were left bare and the cold instantly gripped them to make her feet numb. But as she began to lose her grip on the last little corner of warmth and comfort she decided that tonight was no night for quitting and she slowly slid her ice blocks for feet under the blanket and rested them against the small of his back.
John felt Terri begin to stretch out. Her feet were soon touching his lower back and for a second he actually felt a little guilty at how cold they were, but only for a second. I will make it up to her tomorrow, he thought as he shifted his body away from her icy toes towards the edge of the bed. He thought that this was a match winner and for just a moment he began to drift off to sleep relaxing his game.
Terri was sitting up straight wondering what her next plan of attack would be when she spotted Johns tiniest lapse in concentration. She quickly grasped the edge of the blanket, smiled, counted quietly to three and pulled as hard as she could. John spun out of the bed and landed smack on his back. There was a gurgled grunt as the poor man tried to regain his breath and composure but the noise had been the last straw for a hungry hungry baby and the little brewing whimper erupted in to full blown blood curdling scream. Terri didn’t wait to see if her husband was okay and quickly dived back down with the blanket pulled up right over her head and even let out a few fake snores as if to emphasize the victory.
“OK OK OK, I am coming,” said John as the baby wailed like a broken fire alarm.
Terri was pretty sure she heard a mumbled comment of, “You stupid bitch,” but she didn‘t care. And as she heard him stub his toe on the corner of the bed and swear profusely under his breath she simply embraced the lazy feeling that had engulfed her as her feet began to once again feel toasty, and then she spread herself out in the cushiony softness of her king size latex bed and thought, Karma John, it’s called Karma, and chalked up the score for the week. Three nil, this is getting too easy.